Posted by: tasteindulgence | February 8, 2010

What Is It About Green Tea?

Someone sure has done a remarkable marketing job with green tea, haven’t they? I mean…! From such humble beginnings around 5,000 years ago, to multi-billion dollar freight train. It’s been quite a journey, that’s for sure.

The marketing appeal of green tea lies mainly in its health giving properties. Don’t get me wrong, it tastes great, but every company under the sun isn’t coming out with some variation of green tea just because of the taste. When we hear green tea, or contains green tea, we think health. And when we think health, we take out our wallets.

Marketing strategy aside, green tea really is a spectacular drink. In the beginning, all tea was green tea. It all starts out green, then processing turns it into whatever it is going to be. And while it may be a relatively new phenomenon over here, Asians have been drinking it for thousands of years.

It is great just by itself, or sweetened. It tastes great hot or cold. And we really couldn’t have any discussion about green tea without addressing the health benefits

The health benefits of green tea are widely known and increasing all the time. Since it isn’t processed like other teas, the antioxidant levels in the leaves are very high, contributing to many of its health giving properties.

These benefits have been associated with everything from cardiovascular health to cancer prevention. Be careful about the health claims, though. When you see reports of wondrous green tea health benefits, they aren’t talking about sugary, no nutrient drinks you find at the grocery store that may contain a drop or two of green tea.

The health benefits come by drinking green tea as it was intended by nature. At Taste Indulgence, you can find a variety of green teas in their finest form. And with flavors such as Lemon Ginger Snap Organic, Rose Burst, and Passionate Blueberry, how can you go wrong? Go take a look a see for yourself.

* The above is not meant to be construed as medical advice; consult a professional before using herbs as medication.

Posted by: tasteindulgence | January 25, 2010

What Is It About Black Tea?

If you are a tea drinker in any capacity, chances are you’ve had black tea at one time or another. It is the base for all of your Orange Pekoe and Earl Grey teas that are so readily available and consumed in North America and various places in Europe. In fact, black tea accounts for more than 90% of tea sales in the Western world.

The funny thing about black tea is that when it is brewed, it doesn’t appear black at all. It has a reddish orange color. Many believe that the term ‘black’ refers to the color of the tea leaves after they have been oxidized.

Black tea is the most heavily processed of the major tea varieties, going through full fermentation and oxidation before it is ready. This results in a stronger flavor, and higher caffeine content than the others.

Just as with most teas, there are health benefits to drinking black tea. While it has lower antioxidant levels than other teas due to increased processing, it still comes from the same plant.

And as such, enjoys many of the same properties. Black tea has been shown to be a quality immune booster, and has been linked to lower incidences of many common diseases. It is also said to help with inflammation in the body, which is increasingly being linked to scores of health ailments.

I’m guessing that most of you who have enjoyed black tea have done so with a teabag purchased from your local grocery store. Here at Taste Indulgence, we have a wide array of loose leaf and tea bag black teas for you to choose from.

We have your standard Earl Grey and

Posted by: tasteindulgence | December 3, 2009

Different Ways To Sweeten Tea

There’s no doubt that the topic of sweetening tea will always cause some debate among true tea lovers. There’s also no doubt that regardless of what anyone says or thinks, lots of people sweeten their tea, and will continue to do so.

So, rather than debate whether to sweeten or not to sweeten, let’s take a look at some of the different ways to sweeten tea that you may have overlooked.

The most obvious choice, and one that has been around forever is just plain white sugar. Opinions on how much is enough vary greatly from person to person. Some like a teaspoon. Some like four. It’s all a matter of taste.

Of course, along with regular sugar consumption can come extra pounds and other health problems, which is why people started using artificial sweeteners to sweeten their tea. Aspartame and sucralose under brand names like NutraSweet and Splenda can be found on the tables of most restaurants these days as an alternative to sugar.

And while these products have no calories, there has been much debate as to the long term safety of man made sweeteners too. This is one of the reasons why there has been such a push to find natural ways to sweeten your cup of tea in recent years. Here are a few that have become popular:

Honey – This really isn’t very new when it comes to sweetening tea. People everywhere who have access have been using honey for a very long time. There are different types and qualities of honey, and finding the right taste that suits you is probably the most important aspect of using it as a sweetener.

Agave Syrup – This is taken from the juice of the agave cactus and is 50% sweeter than sugar. It has been used as a sweetener in South America and Mexico for centuries. It also has a very low GI (glycemic index) which means it won’t spike your blood sugar like white sugar does.

Stevia – The leaves of the stevia plant have been used as a natural sweetener in Latin America for centuries. Here, you can buy it in powder or liquid form, and it has a GI of zero, which means it won’t alter your blood sugar at all.

Maple Syrup – Most wouldn’t think of using maple syrup as a sweetener for tea, but it can really add a new dimension to the same old drink. The processed sap from the maple tree is about as sweet as sugar, but with more minerals and fewer calories than honey.

These are some of the more popular natural sweeteners being used today. You can also try date sugar, cane sugar, brown rice syrup, or even molasses.

As tea drinkers, we’re all individuals. And the way we sweeten our tea should be individual as well. Experiment a little, and try some new things until you find one that’s perfect for you.

Posted by: tasteindulgence | November 18, 2009

What Is It About Oolong Tea?

Oolong tea has certainly built quite a reputation in the tea world as of late, wouldn’t you say? Much has been said and written about its weight loss properties, and as such it has become immensely popular. Of course, there is a lot more to the story of oolong tea than just weight loss.

Also known as wu-long, or black dragon tea, oolong tea has been around for a very long time. Some say at least 500 years. There are a handful of different stories as to how it was invented, all with their own bit of storytelling flair. One that seems to make sense is that it was discovered by accident by a tea farmer in China.

As the story goes, one day a tea farmer was tending to his withering tea leaves, when he was startled by a black serpent. The farmer ran off, and was so wary he didn’t return for two days. When he did return, he found that the tea leaves had been oxidized by the sun. He decided to brew them and give them a try, and when he found the taste a pleasant one, oolong tea was born.

Whether this story is fact or not is impossible for any of us to know, but it does explain the black dragon moniker. What we do know for sure is that oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea that is somewhere between green tea and black tea in oxidation.

It tastes closer to green tea than black, and there are several sub-varieties including those produced in the Wuyi Mountains of northern Fujian and in the central mountains of Taiwan. Most seasoned tea connoisseurs agree that the tastiest oolong tea comes from Taiwan.

And just as with most teas, oolong tea has its share of health benefits. Aside from weight loss, it can help destroy free radicals in the body and strengthen your immune system.

At Taste Indulgence we have a couple of exciting different flavors of Oolong tea that you are sure to love. The first is called Passionate Peach, which is made up of Jasmine and organic osmanthus blossoms. It’s perfect for sipping iced or hot. The second is called Longing for Oolong and as the name suggests, you won’t stop at just a cup.

Give them a try today. If you’re a true tea lover you won’t be disappointed!

* The above is not meant to be construed as medical advice; consult a professional before using herbs as medication.

Posted by: tasteindulgence | October 27, 2009

Taste Indulgence Video Blog #2

Taste Indulgence is happy to post the second in our series of video blogs!

This time our spokesperson Ash entertains a special guest!

Posted by: tasteindulgence | October 21, 2009

Loose Leaf Tea vs. Tea Bags

Every true tea lover likely has a preference when it comes to drinking tea.  Are you a loose leaf kind of tea drinker, or a tea bag kind of tea drinker?

I’m sure the loose leaf tea vs. tea bag debate has been around for quite some time. We’re not really interested in trying to sway you in one direction or the other, but let’s take a look at some of the attributes of each to help you make up your mind if you’re still on the fence.

Any honest loose leaf vs. tea bag discussion has to start with the leaves. Most true tea connoisseurs swear by drinking loose leaf tea.  And for good reason, too.  Loose leaf teas have larger leaves and contain natural chemicals and essential oils that heighten the flavor when brewed.

When processed for use in tea bags, the leaves are broken up and these oils can begin to evaporate, which in turn will affect the flavor.  A typical tea bag is filled with the tiniest pieces of broken leaves.  These pieces are called ‘fannings’ or ‘tea dust.’

For the most flavorful cup of tea, the leaves need space to swell, expand and unfurl.  It’s important to have good water circulation around the leaves, which obviously isn’t possible in a cramped little tea bag.

As you may imagine, whole, loose leaf teas also result in much higher antioxidant levels, which makes for a healthier drink.

Perhaps the only advantage the tea bag has over loose leaf tea is the convenience factor.  While real tea lovers savor the entire tea brewing process, many of us prefer the ease of just tossing a tea bag into some hot water and letting it do its thing.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some higher quality tea bags out there that use while leaves, but the water circulation will still be inferior to loose leaf.

In just about every category, loose leaf teas seem to outperform their bagged counterpart.  The choice is yours, but to get the very best from your tea drinking experience, it seems that loose leaf is definitely the way to go.

At Taste Indulgence, we carry a large and unique selection of loose leaf teas, as well as a smaller variety of tea bag teas for times when convenience matters most.

Whichever side of this debate you are on, the one thing that matters most is to enjoy your tea!  Savor it like it is supposed to be savored.  Choose the type of tea that suits your lifestyle best and just love your tea.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

Posted by: tasteindulgence | October 9, 2009

How to Choose The Right Teapot

Many people who are new to the world of tea drinking, often overlook the importance of choosing the right teapot.  It’s easy to think that any old pot will do, but if you are a true lover of tea, and I mean a real connoisseur, you know the value of having a really good teapot.  After all, the teapot is the vessel in which your cup of tea will be brewed.  It’s where all the magic happens.

In many cultures and in all different sorts of tea ceremonies, the teapot takes on an importance almost to that of the tea itself.  When choosing a teapot for at home use, there are a few different elements that go into choosing the right one for you.  Since the practice of tea drinking is highly individual, perhaps the first thing you should consider is the overall look and style.

After all, this is one piece of equipment you’ll be spending an awful lot of time with.  Finding a teapot that matches your style and personality can make the entire process that much more enjoyable.

You can find teapots made from a variety of different substances, such as clay, ceramic, porcelain, glass, and even cast iron.  They come in a rainbow of colors and many different shapes.  Some people who are really serious about their tea will even own several teapots and use specific pots for specific teas.

One feature that is important to look for in a teapot is a removable infuser basket.  If you are a true tea lover, you’re more likely to enjoy loose leaf tea more often.  And if your teapot comes with a removable basket, it will help prevent your tea from over-steeping.

I guess the bottom line is to find a teapot that is going to make the tea drinking experience more enjoyable for you.  Some may lean toward something practical.  A certain spout, or other specific feature. Some may lean toward creativity and choose a teapot that suits their individuality.  And some will look for that perfect balance between the two.

Just be sure to base your decision on what really makes you happy and you won’t go wrong.  Taste Indulgence has a line of teaware that will appeal to the practical tea drinker, the creative tea drinker, and those of you who are a little bit of both.

If you are serious about drinking tea, our teaware is the perfect addition to your tea drinking accessories.  Go take a look now!

Posted by: tasteindulgence | September 25, 2009

Should you drink Organic Tea?

By now, everyone has heard of the term “organic.”  It seems to have become somewhat of a buzz word for the health movement.  And as with most things that become popular in society, mainstream businesses have jumped onboard as well.  We can now easily find products such as potato chips, soda pop and other mainstays of the junk food world labeled as organic.

Of course, a potato chip made with an organic potato is still a potato chip and is still not conducive to good health.  You’ll gain weight and fall out of health just as quickly consuming organic junk food products as you will their non-organic counterparts.

The lesson is, educate yourself and don’t just take some big corporation’s word for it that their product is good for you because they’ve slapped an ‘organic’ label on it.

This brings me to the topic of this post…should you drink organic tea?  Does organic tea make a healthy beverage even healthier?  Or is it more of a marketing ploy designed to get you to shell out your hard earned money?

Unlike a product such as organic soda which will simply use 40 grams of organic cane sugar instead of 40 grams of regular sugar, there are some real benefits to drinking organically grown tea.

When this whole organic movement started, the main benefit to organic food was that it was grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, etc.  Many products these days certainly blur the line between being beneficial and being a marketing gimmick, but tea is not one of them.

Since tea is a plant grown in the earth, the organic version will be a much healthier choice over a more conventionally grown product.  To meet standards, it has to be grown in soil that is free of chemicals, and no chemicals can be added to the leaves as it is grown and processed.

The result is a pure tea leaf, full of flavor. Another benefit to choosing organic tea is that it is often ‘fair trade.’  This means that the small independent farmers and workers in developing countries who produce the tea are given fair value for their products.  Purchasing organic tea is not only good for your health, but will also help the global community.

So, should you drink organic tea?  The end choice is always yours, but I would have to say yes!  Drink it for health.  Drink it for taste.  Drink it to help the people around the world who grow it for us.

At Taste Indulgence we offer a sample pack of decadent organic teas that are sure to be loved by any true tea connoisseur.

With names like Organic Bai Hao Silver Needle, Organic Nilgiri, and Organic Lemon Ginger Snap, how could you possibly go wrong?

Posted by: tasteindulgence | September 18, 2009

Taste Indulgence Video Blog #1

Taste Indulgence is proud to show our first video blog as presented by our spokesperson Ash!

Shot in the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Park of Vancouver, British Columbia, this video is the first of many to come!

Posted by: tasteindulgence | August 31, 2009

Is Green Tea More Than Just A Healthy Drink?

It’s been said that the rich history of green tea began about 5,000 years ago in China. With so many years in between then and now there are scores of different stories about the discovery of green tea.

One of the more interesting ones is based upon a Chinese emperor and medical expert named Shen Nong. Legend has it that he would always boil his water before drinking it. One day, some tea leaves accidentally fell into his boiling water and the first cup of green tea was enjoyed.

Obviously, this magnificent drink has come a long way from such humble beginnings. In fact, green tea’s health secrets are well known the world over. Aside from being a relaxing treat after a stressful day, green tea boasts some pretty impressive health benefits.

Green tea leaves are loaded with catechin polyphenols, especially one called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is a powerful anti-oxidant. Some health problems that drinking green tea can help are rheumatoid arthritis, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, infection, and immune function.

When it comes to brewing green tea, there are a couple helpful hints that can increase its health giving properties. The main one, and this is contrary to a lot of green tea brewing advice, is to use boiling water. Many people will tell you that using boiling water to brew green tea will leave it with a slightly bitter taste. This may be true, but boiling water will also promote the extraction of polyphenols from the leaves and make for a healthier drink. It is definitely one of green tea’s health secrets.

In the end, it’s all a matter of what your goal is for your cup of tea. If you want to brew green tea for purely health reasons, boil the water. If you’d like to spoil yourself a little and enjoy its wonderful taste, don’t let the water boil. Just be sure to let it steep for 2-5 minutes. And if you are using tea bags, dunk them in and out of the water to help extract the health giving polyphenols.

Everyone will tell you to drink green tea for your health, and at Taste Indulgence we’re no different…but don’t forget about the relaxing, indulgent side of green tea altogether. The health benefits of green tea will always be there, but as a sipping tea to help erase the stresses of the day it really has no equal.

We have some truly decadent flavors of green tea for you to choose from, including Jasmine Jewel, Passionate Blueberry, and Rose Burst.

All of these great flavors are available in loose leaf and some in tea bag form. They can also be sweetened with sugar, honey, or a healthier alternative such as stevia. Whether you choose loose leaf or tea bags, and however you decide to sweeten it, just remember that green tea is meant to be savored. You have 5,000 years of history in your cup, so be sure to enjoy every drop.

* The above is not meant to be construed as medical advice; consult a professional before using herbs as medication

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